The Green Bay Packers have historically preferred to drat offensive linemen who have experience as a blind-side tackle during their college football careers. Virtually every lineman drafted by Ted Thompson in rounds one through four have that experience, while the team has been less strict about that requirement when drafting players in rounds five through seven and signing undrafted free agents.
While we do not yet know for sure whether the team is changing their tune on this specific item now that Brian Gutekunst is the general manager instead of Ted Thompson, there are signals that they may at least be willing to consider interior linemen earlier. The team reportedly sent a scout to UTEP’s Pro Day to watch guard and first-round talent Will Hernandez work out, and today we have news of the team hosting a collegiate center at the team’s facilities for an official visit.
That player is Nico Falah, who played his college ball at USC, and the report comes from Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Still, although Falah is a true center, he is expected to be a late-round pick or UDFA signing, so this does not necessarily indicate a change in the team’s philosophy.
As Silverstein notes, Falah may project to guard as well as center at the professional level.
Falah has actually drawn a decent amount of interest from the Packers throughout the pre-draft process. Although did not receive an invitation to the 2018 NFL Combine, Falah met with the Packers at USC’s Pro Day. Making a visit to Green Bay seems like a clear indication that the team seems to like him.
The Packers have used more of their pre-draft visits on potential first-round picks this year than during Thompson’s tenure, but they still have several late-rounders or possible undrafted players coming in for visits. Click here for a full list.